Wednesday, February 12, 2020

J/Newsletter- February 12th, 2020

J/Sailing News

The Sun Never Sets on J's Sailing Worldwide

Here's to a Happy Valentine's Day Weekend for all J/Sailors around the world! May the winds blow you safely to whatever romantic destinations you may sail to this weekend.

Happy Valentines Day 2020
Speaking of romantic destinations, last weekend J/70 sailors enjoyed the amazing hospitality of the Principality of Monaco! The Yacht Club Monaco hosted their 36th annual Primo Cup- Trophee' Credit Suisse off Monte Carlo, Monaco for a fleet of fifty-five teams. Many top teams from around Europe, South America, and the USA participated with an eye towards getting to know the local waters that will be the site of the 2021 J/70 World Championship.

Over in the Americas, the Davis Island J/70 Winter Series of three regattas concluded this past weekend with sixty boats on the line battling in simply gorgeous weather over the two days.

Then, out on the Pacific coast, the Southern California Yachting Association's annual J/70 Midwinters Regatta was hosted by California Yacht Club in Marina del Rey. The leading teams were training in what will be the site for the 2020 J/70 World Championship later this year. Finally, the West Coast offshore season is well under way. Recently, the Los Angeles Yacht Club hosted their annual Around Catalina Island Race for a fleet of offshore PHRF handicap racers...a trio of J/crews collected a lot of silverware!

J/105 Young America youth offshore team
Seeking Co-Skippers for Mixed Double-handed Offshore– Newport Bermuda Race

(Newport, RI)- The Young American Sailing Academy (YASA) is seeking interested sailors to join the YASA sailing team and participate in a mixed double-handed offshore program.

The first step of this program is sailing the 2020 Newport Bermuda Race as mixed double-handed entries. Do you have the passion and the skills to be part of a winning team, sailing mixed double-handed offshore for three to four demanding days? If this is your calling, please apply with YASA.

J/105 Young America youth teamNewport Bermuda Race
YASA will have two mixed double-handed entries in the 2020 Newport Bermuda Race. At 640 nm the Newport Bermuda Race is the only race of distance and duration to be relevant to the upcoming World Championships and the 2024 Olympic event, which is planned to be a 3-4-day duration. The Newport Bermuda Race is an ideal training event for those seeking the near-term goal of qualifying for the World Sailing Championships to be sailed October 2020.

Using the boats immediately available, YASA is upgrading its two J/105s for double-handed offshore sailing. The boats are being equipped and configured with high quality instruments/auto pilots and offshore sail configurations. J/105s have successfully sailed transatlantic and transpacific races, and given their size and setup are considered appropriate equipment for mixed offshore training.

If the demand is sufficient from skilled and qualified sailors, YASA will work to provide additional boats for mixed duos.

Selection Process
Interested skippers are asked to submit their sailing resumes and their expression of interest. The YASA selection committee will select a short list from the submissions from which interviews will be conducted leading to the selection of the final skippers. Second tier and backup crews will be selected at the same time. Interested sailors may apply either as individuals or as a pre-formed team.

The Application Information
The selection committee anticipates starting to review applications February 25 with the intention of making selections by March 15. Contact Peter Becker below.

YASA has been a youth centric program from its inception and consistent with that bias we encourage interest from youthful participants (< 25), however all candidates regardless of age will be considered.

Some of the qualities and characteristics that are desirable in a skipper candidate are the following:
  • “Skipper” frame of mind and team attitude
  • Having a gas-pedal – i.e. the ability to do all things to make a boat go fast in all conditions
  • Prior experience with offshore endurance sailing, preferably short-handed
  • Tireless, flexible, curious and tenacious
  • Focused and with a willingness to commit to an intense campaign
  • Knowledge in weather and weather routing
J/105s sailing offshore
YASA Framework & Support

Projects such as this are dependent on funding, YASA as a 501(c) (3) provides the tax advantaged framework for charitable donations and commercial support to help meet the funding requirements. YASA will enhance its social media campaign promoting the project, its sponsors and highlighting the sailors.

As previously mentioned, YASA is providing the boats and is working hard to deliver the associated equipment and upgrades. There is and will be plenty of work and preparation required which YASA will support in every way possible.

Team/ Skipper Commitments
Each skipper should be committed to providing the following:
  • Commitment to working and training hard to become an elite short-handed sailor
  • Achieving and maintaining a high level of physical conditioning
  • Commitment to fundraising in support of the project budget (approx. $8,500/crew member)
  • Providing personal safety equipment, offshore gear and associated supplies
  • Having the time, energy, passion and excitement about mixed offshore sailing
Provisional Budget
The provisional budget for each of the two boats for the Newport Bermuda Race campaign is approximately $17,000. This budget includes the entry and operational expenses as well as the necessary safety equipment and ORR rating. It does not include capital upgrades, which include B&G H5000 Hercules instruments and pilot and offshore sail inventory.

This is the moment to find and create American’s talent in the short-handed offshore discipline. In four years, there is an Olympic medal up for the taking, let’s set a course toward that goal and enjoy the journey.

Contact- Peter Becker- phone- 917-715-1471 or email- or website-

J/70s sailing off Monaco
The Russians Are Coming! ELF Dominates J/70 Primo Cup- Credit Suisse Regatta

(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Yacht Club Monaco's 36th Primo CupРTroph̩e Credit Suisse took place last weekend off Monte Carlo, Monaco in what could only be described as "champagne" sailing conditions. For the first time in recent memory, the enormous sixty-five-boat J/70 fleet was treated to brilliant sunshine, relatively flat waters, and southerly breezes in the 8 to 15 knots range for all three days.

Yacht Club Monaco and harbor
The regatta was the first "dress rehearsal" for the 2021 J/70 World Championship that will be sailed in the same waters and hosted by YC Monaco from 18th to 23rd October, 2021. Last year's winner, Ludovico Fassitelli on JUNDA, commented that, “you have to be constantly on the alert, always on the lookout without ever lowering your guard. Obviously, we want to win, but at the same time we are trialing new sails to decide which to use for the Worlds”.

J/70 Monaco Primo Cup winners
From day one, the Russians on ELF flew into the lead, never to relinquish the top of the podium.  On the first day, they were fast out the starting blocks with three 2nd places. By Sunday afternoon, they had won their first-ever YCM Primo Cup Trophee Credit Suisse regatta; their skipper Mikhail Sheremetev and crew (Sergey Sobolev, Maksim Sheremetev, Pavel Sysoev, and Mikhail Chegurov) were overjoyed with their amazing performance. The Swiss team on CER APROTEC- VILLE DE GENEVE, skippered by Nelson Mettraux, took back to Geneva the silver medal. Finally, taking the bronze was YC Monaco's own Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio, skippering G-SPOTTINO. The balance of the top five included the "hard-luck" American team on FURIO in fourth place, they were in second place overall going into the last day, but a disastrous last race 26th dropped them off the podium. Taking fifth position was the Cyprus/ Russian team on AMAIZ, skippered by Viacheslav Martynov.

J/70 Monaco Primo Cup Corinthians winners
The Corinthians Division saw extremely tight racing with the winners determined on a tie-breaker at 60 points each.  Winning that tie-break on count-back was United Kingdom crew on BRUTUS- skipper Charles Thompson with crew of Tony Hanlon, Ian Southworth, and Craig Burlton. Taking the silver was Cesar Gabasio's Monaco team on TINNJ70 that included Paolo Canale, Pietro Corbucci, and Gianluca Caboni.  Third went to a well-known YC Monaco crew- Stefano Roberti's PICCININA with crew of Axelle Foucaud, Yves Drappier, and Ludovic Broquaire.   Sailing video highlights of first day   For more YC Monaco Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse sailing information

J/70 Savasana wins Davis Island Winter Series
SAVASANA Wins Davis Island Winter Series Overall

KEY PLAYER Takes Act 3 on Tiebreak with PINTA
(Tampa, FL)- Forty-eight J/70 teams qualified to win the 2019-20 J/70 Winter Series, requiring them to compete with the same boat and skipper in two of the three events held in Tampa, Florida. For the third consecutive year, Brian Keane’s SAVASANA is Series Champion.  Keane’s crew included Nic Baird, Christian Koules, and Conner Harding. The Corinthian Division Series was won by Peter Firey’s PHOENIX with team of Timothy Mangus, Michael McNamara, Ray Wulff, and Eric Mentzell.

J/70s sailing on Tampa Bay, Florida
Fifty teams competed in the final event on February 8-9 which saw perfect sailing conditions all weekend, with winds of 8 to 15 knots, clear blue skies, and temperatures in the 70s. After seven races, it was clear there was going to be a battle for the top of the podium. In the streaky, shifty offshore breezes in the upper part of Tampa Bay, it was a 100% Corinthian team on Eddie Keller's KEY PLAYER fighting off a very professional German team led by Mike Illbruck on PINTA. By winning the last race, Illbruck's super-star crew on PINTA (John Kostecki, Patrick Wilson, and Chris Stocke) put themselves into a tie at 41 points each with Keller's team on KEY PLAYER (Wade Waddell, Chris Keller, and Peter Lynn). KEY PLAYER took the win on countback. Rounding out the podium was Josh Goldman's team on BUILDING A (Al Terhune, Cate Terhune, and Francisco Lobato).  The balance of the top five included the overall series winner- Keane's SAVASANA- in fourth place and the Italian team of ENJOY 1.0 taking fifth place (Carlo Tomelleri, Pietro De Luca, Daniele De Luca, and Alberto Taddei).

J/70 Corinthians winners
Remarkably, the winner of the "Open Division" was also the winner of the Corinthians Division- Keller's KEY PLAYER. Second went to the Argentinean team on JUICY- Francisco Van Avermaete, Geronimo Galvan, Carlos Lacchini, and Rafael De Martis. Third was Tod Sackett's FM with crew of Jeff Haase, Ted Pinkerton, and John Rampe.

For the J/70 Davis Island Winter Series (best 2 of 3 regattas), Keane's SAVASANA won, followed by Goldman's BUILDING A in second and Will Welles' BRIBONA in third.  The rest of the top five included Darby Smith's AFRICA in fourth and John Koten's PLANET CLAIRE in fifth position.

The Corinthians Division series winner was Firey's PHOENIX, followed by Bob Willis' RIP RULLAH in second and Tod Sackett's FM in third place.  For more J/70 Davis Island Winter Series sailing information

J/145 Katara sailing offshoreJ/Crews Sweep Catalina Island Race
(Los Angeles, CA)- The Los Angeles Yacht Club held their annual Midwinter Around Catalina Island Race the past weekend. Starting the 80.0nm race next to Angels Gate Lighthouse, the PHRF handicap fleet of nearly twenty offshore racers head due west, leaving Catalina Island to port, then head back and finish at Angles Gate Lighthouse. It was a relatively quick race for the fleet, with the bigger boats getting around in about 16 hours.

Winning the PHRF A Division quite handily was Roger Gatewood's J/145 KATARA, winning both class and fleet with a corrected time of 15:49:16.  Winning the PHRF B Division by a country mile was Doug and Jack Jorgensen's J/111 PICOSA, crossing the line not far off the J/145 pace and correcting out to 17:04:53, good enough for fifth overall. Finally, taking the silver in PHRF B was Daniel Murphy's J/105 CUCHULAINN.  For more Los Angeles YC Catalina Island Race sailing information

J/70s sailing SCYA Midwinters off Los Angeles, CA
Golison Tops SCYA J/70 Midwinter Regatta

(Marina del Rey, CA)- The annual Southern California Yachting Association J/70 Midwinter Regatta took place last weekend in what will be the site for the 2020 J/70 World Championship later this summer.  The sixteen J/70s sailed off Marina del Rey, hosted by California Yacht Club. The J/70 teams soon found out which teams were the boats to beat over the two-day regatta.

The Cal YC PRO managed to get three races completed the first day and two more on Sunday to close the series with five races, all counters and no discards.  Jay Golison's IT'S ALL GOOD from Alamitos Bay YC took the title with a fast-out-of-the-box tally of 2-1-2-3-10 for 18 pts.  Second was Jim Murrell's HUCKLEBERRY with multiple-World Champion David Ullman aboard with a record of 1-4-1-6-9 for 21 pts. The podium was pretty tightly packed as the bronze medal team of Craig Tallman on JAYA finished just three points back with a 5-3-3-10-3 scoreline for 24 pts total. Rounding out the top five was Tony Collins' FLY in fourth and Chris Raab's SUGOI in fifth place.  For more SCYA Midwinters 2020 sailing information

Regatta & Show Schedules:

Feb 14-16- St Petersburg NOOD Regatta- St Petersburg, FL
Feb 20-23- J/70 Midwinter Championship- Miami, FL
Feb 28- Mar 1- J/24 Midwinter Championship- Indian Harbour Beach, FL
Mar 4-7- J/70 Bacardi Cup- Miami, FL
Mar 5-8- St Maarten Heineken Regatta- Simpson Bay, Saint Maarten
Mar 5- Puerto Vallarta Race- San Diego, CA
Mar 6-8- St. Croix International Regatta- Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI
Mar 10- SORC Miami to Eleuthera Race- Miami, FL
Mar 17-21- St. Augustine Race Week- St. Augustine, FL
Mar 19-22- J/22 Midwinter Championship- New Orleans, LA
Mar 20-22- San Diego NOOD Regatta- San Diego, CA
Mar 26-29- St. Thomas International Regatta- St. Thomas, USVI
Mar 30- Apr1- BVI Spring Regatta- Road Town, Tortola, BVI
Apr 12-18- Les Voiles de St Barth Regatta- Gustavia, St Barthelemy
Apr 17-25- EDHEC J/80 Sailing Cup Regatta- Port du Crouesty, Arzon, France
Apr 23-26- Charleston Race Week- Charleston, SC
Apr 26- May 1- Antigua Sailing Week- English Harbour, Antigua, West Indies
May 1-3- Annapolis NOOD Regatta- Annapolis, MD
May 27-31- J/24 North American Championship- Blue Point, NY
Jun 11-14- Helga Cup Ladies J/70 Regatta- Hamburg, Germany
Jun 12-14- Chicago NOOD Regatta- Chicago, IL
Jun 20-21- J/70 East Coast Championship- Cape May, NJ
Jul 26-Aug 1- J/70 World Championship- Marina del Rey, CA

For additional J/Regatta and Event dates in your region, please refer to the on-line J/Sailing Calendar.

J/70 Helly Hansen Youth teamsSt Petersburg NOOD Regatta Preview
(St Petersburg, FL)– Everything is shaping up in St. Petersburg, Fla., to kick off a great season opener for the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta Series — the largest national sailboat racing circuit in the United States. The St. Petersburg NOOD regatta, organized by Sailing World and hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club, has developed into the one of the largest regattas in Florida, and its 32nd edition will see 185 boats and more than 1,000 professional and amateur sailors converging onto Tampa Bay and the bustling downtown area for racing and fun on this Valentine’s Day weekend on Tampa Bay.

J/88s sailing on Tampa BayThe weekend weather forecast is promising to deliver perfect Florida conditions for the sailors representing 27 states and three countries: seasonal temperatures, sunshine and a mix of breezy and moderate winds will challenge the 17 different classes of sailboats racing in either one-design J/24s, J/70s, J/88s, J/111s or PHRF (handicapped). A distance race across Tampa Bay will be held for select classes on Saturday only.

Travis Odenbach, of Pittsfield, NY, returns to St. Petersburg this year to defend his J/70 class win against sixteen other teams, but also another chance to represent St. Petersburg at the series’ season championship invitational, the Helly Hansen Caribbean NOOD Championship Regatta, hosted by Sunsail in the British Virgin Islands in October.

Odenbach, a professional sailor, has competed in the previous six NOODs and considers the February event a great chance to mix sailing business with pleasure. His goal is twofold: gain valuable training for the J/70 World Championship later this summer in California, as well as enjoy a warm-weather family vacation. “Coming here is a win-win for great sailing and family time. You can’t beat the combo,” he said.

The St. Petersburg NOOD is also a favorite event for Tampa resident Chip Merlin, thanks to the typically gorgeous weather, protected water and ability for Tampa Bay to accommodate so many boats and race courses. “The multiple courses give you that ‘regatta within a regatta’ feeling when sailing, but we get to hang out with all the other fleets at the party after. It’s a great chance to see so many sailing friends in one place,” Merlin said.

J/88 sailing at St Petersburg, FLHelly Hansen—a global leader in technical sailing apparel with more than 135 years of experience protecting professionals on the water—continues as title sponsor for the elite sailing series for the sixth consecutive year. As part of Helly Hansen’s commitment to the sport, the company will also continue to sponsor two teams of local teens, competing as the Helly Hansen Junior Crew at each stop this year. One crew will be helmed by top woman youth sailor Heather Kerns from the host St Petersburg YC Youth Team. The other crew will have Preston Weaver as skipper, also a member of StPYC's Youth Team.

The J/88 class will feature all the top boats that recently participated in the J/Fest St Pete J/88 Midwinters two weeks ago.  Those crews include the winners- Iris Vogel's DEVIATION- plus other leading teams like Andy Graff's EXILE from Chicago, IL; Jim & Scott Sorbie's LEGACY from Detroit, MI; Lawrence Cutler & Andrew Weiss' ONE TOO MANY from Mamaroneck, NY; and Dave Tufts' GAUCHO from Rochester, NY.

J/111 sailing St. Petersburg, FLSimilarly, the J/111 class will also have their leading crews from their recent J/Fest St Pete J/111 Midwinters, including Ian Hill's SITELLA from Hampton, VA; Jim Sminchak's SPACEMAN SPIFF from Cleveland, OH; and Doug Curtiss' WICKED 2.0 from Buzzards Bay, MA.

The J/24 class sports a cast of characters from primarily the southeast USA. Those crews include Chris Jackson's LUCIFER'S HAMMER, Nadia Daggett's MUSTACHE RIDE, Seth Rosenthal's NO RULES, and Jonathan Stewart's BREEZE. The lone exception to that group is one team that literally traversed the United States north to south (about 2,300 miles)- Mike Quaid's ICE CUBE from Mallets Bay Boat Club near Burlington, VT!

In the world of PHRF handicap racing, two J/105s from Davis Island YC are racing in PHRF 2 Division; Stephen Mitcham's BREEZIN BAYOU and George Cussins' FIRE & ICE. Then, in PHRF 3 Division, two familiar and hotly competitive J/29 crews will be dueling for class supremacy; Robert Wetmore's FAMILY CIRCUS and Ray Mannix's SEMPER FI. Notably, in the North Sails Rally Racer Cruiser Division will be the Ford/ Mistele duo on the J/112E SILVER SURFER and Jose Suarez-Hoyos on the J/35 NO WAY JOSE!   Sailing Photo Credits- Paul Todd/Outside Images   For more St Petersburg NOOD Regatta Sailing information

What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide
J/44 Equation - Bill  Alcott* Eight Bells: Bill Alcott
William D. Alcott III (“Bill”) of St Clair Shores, Michigan sailed off over the horizon on February 3, 2020 at the age of 83. He had been winning a battle against cancer for 14 years when it finally overtook him, but he enjoyed life to its fullest, even during those battle years, living his life, not his disease.

During that time, he sold his company, immersed himself further in his favorite pursuit, sailboat racing, created an elaborate model train layout, married his long-time sweetheart, built a home on Lake St Clair, and adopted his beloved dog Murphy.

Bill traveled a lot, won a half dozen Mackinac races overall and had most recently shifted his focus to a classic mahogany Hacker Craft, as a tender to his cherished sailboat, Equation. There was no slowing down for retirement or disease.

Perhaps the best inspiration for his successful healthcare informatics business was his love of sailing. Bill was the proud owner of the “Equation” brand – seven sequentially larger racing sailboats (one was his beloved J/44 for ten years) and a long-time member of Bayview Yacht Club. Bill was also a member of the Storm Trysail Club, Society of Mackinac Island Old Goats (BYC), and the Island Goats Sailing Society (CYC), which put him in the illustrious group of “Double Goats” having completed in 25 races each.

Bill raced the Great Lakes, East Coast, Key West, and he especially loved the Caribbean with his devoted crew members, and these were long standing, close personal relationships for him. His crew were family members. His boat rules were simple – no shouting, always show up with a hangover, and if you were late for boat call you had to buy drinks for the entire crew.

His racing program and success on the course are well known and include 47 Port Huron to Mackinac races and 35 Chicago to Mackinac races. He is survived by every sailor who ever had the good fortune to participate on Equation.

Bill loved reading and always had his Kindle in his pocket. He was a skilled banjo and ukulele player and could harmonize to fit in with any barbershop quartet. He taught all his kids to play Frisbee and when they grew up, he taught the dog.

His personal loyalty, his passion for integrity, his bewitching intensity had the power to make everyone feel like family. The foundation of that ability, though, was his real family. He is lovingly and forever remembered by his wife and partner of 32 years- Kim- his three children, his two sisters, and multiple grand-children.

Fair winds and safe harbor, Bill. You will be missed by all of us.
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